Sam Phillips works on a watershed plan for he Big Sur RiverDoug Smith, professor in the Division of Science and Environmental Policy, and graduate student Sam Phillips are collaborating with federal and state resource agencies to develop the Big Sur River Watershed Management Plan. 

The plan details what residents and resource managers can do to sustain the steelhead population of this local waterway.

The Big Sur River and other ecologically critical streams and wetlands are constantly threatened by human activities that alter how water flows over and within the landscape. Land-use changes such as urbanization and agriculture are the leading cause of declining salmonid populations along California's Central Coast. While some impacts are inevitable, they can be markedly reduced or avoided through thoughtful and well-considered planning.

The plan developed by Dr. Smith and Phillips describes current land-use constraints in the context of landslides, erosion, flooding and other geologic hazards that influence both residents and the steelhead spawning grounds of the Big Sur River.

Story, photo provided by Doug Smith